Chief executive officer Tomaso Trussardi revealed he has acquired a 25 percent stake from his sister Beatrice Trussardi. The young entrepreneur, who declined to provide financial details of the transaction, now owns 50 percent of the Italian firm’s shares. A capital increase of 15 million euros, or $16.5 million at current exchange rates, will take place within the first half of the year.
“This is a sign that we strongly believe in fashion,” said Trussardi, also referring to his sister Gaia, creative director, and their mother Maria Luisa Trussardi, president, who each own 25 percent of the company. The capital increase “will help finance the group’s growth plan,” he explained. Beatrice Trussardi will continue to lead the art foundation Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, named after the siblings’ late father, and will be involved in the real estate sector of the group.
Tomaso Trussardi once again denied that a sale of the brand is on the cards, emphasizing the family’s commitment. He acknowledged the brand’s potential, but said the advisers the family has been working with were “looking at the best way to develop the company, not to sell equity.”
Trussardi’s goal is to reach sales of 250 million euros, or $275 million, in four years. In 2014, revenues totaled 150 million euros, or $199.5 million at average exchange. “There are no offers on the table and I am not looking for partners.” He did not rule out a stock market listing down the road, though. “Why not, maybe in three to four years, when we will be ready in terms of refinancing and image. We are not ready now and the market is not ready, it would be a speculative move,” he said.
Trussardi has set in motion a streamlining of the brand since he believes it is “counterproductive to have three lines.” As a result he is shuttering the Tru Trussardi nameplate with the spring 2016 collection to focus on the repositioning of the Trussardi and Trussardi Jeans labels.
While continuing with its runway collection, the company is looking at shaping Trussardi into an accessible luxury brand, increasing its focus on accessories, which had waned over the past few years, the executive said. His father, Nicola Trussardi, transformed his family’s small-town glove manufacturer into a global fashion and accessories brand in the Seventies and Eighties. The business was founded by Nicola’s grandfather Dante in 1911.
“The world has changed and so has the definition of luxury, a word I’ve never liked,” Gaia Trussardi said. “Niche luxury will always exist, but I prefer aspiration and fascination with the brand.” She is returning to the label’s allure of the Eighties, the family roots, and arts and sports.
As part of the repositioning into the accessible luxury segment, accessories, which generate 23 million euros, or $25 million, in sales a season, will now range in price from 300 euros, or $329, for a clutch to 600 euros, or $657, for a handbag. Trussardi said men’s wear continues to be a strong business, representing around 47 percent of sales. In China, it reaches peaks of 70 percent of total. Formal men’s suits used to retail at around 1,500 euros and will now start from 350 euros, or $383. The luxury range will start from 800 euros, or $876.
“It’s a return to the Eighties for us, but this [price range] is the future. Luxury is over, people’s lifestyle has changed. With social media, customers taking selfies, they need to change a lot,” Tomaso Trussardi said, who is also hoping to attract younger customers. He said 35 percent of what the company sells comes from flash collections that help refresh stores.
The company has been streamlining its distribution to 1,500 wholesale accounts, eliminating smaller points of sale. “The minimum order now is of 20,000 euros [$21,782],” he said.
In mid-2016, the company will start to remodel stores in its main markets — Italy, Europe and China — and plans to close some stores and relocate units. New store openings are planned starting in 2018. In China, the company has been buying back its 50 stores, closing around half of them and opening new ones. “After one month, we are already over the budget by 35 percent,” Trussardi said.
The executive said the company has been overhauled. “We’ve challenged ourselves, taking big risks and changing our mind-set,” he said of the past year, noting that 90 percent of managers are new.